Monthly Archives: July 2010

Software Updates

When you’re using your computer, sometimes you may notice that there is a new icon or little notifications that pop-up near the system tray, alerting you that there are updates available.

Updating your computer is important, as updates can patch various security flaws, as well as keep your computer’s operating system, as well as different programs, up to date with the newest version.

If your computer is running a version of Windows, you have probably seen Windows Updates before. You may have noticed a program come up, alerting you of new updates and asking if you would like to install them.

Windows Updates are important, as they can contain security patches, tools to remove malicious files or programs, as well as things that can help to keep your version of Windows up to date.

If you would like to check to see whether or not your computer has Windows Updates that are ready to be installed, you can do so by going to the Start Menu and then to the “All Programs” section. From there, you should click on “Windows Update”, where you should be able to see if you have any available updates for your computer and choose whether or not you’d like to install them.

Also, if there are updates available for your computer, you may notice a little icon in the System Tray, which looks like a light blue card with a Windows logo on the top and a yellow band going around it. If you click on this icon, you should be able to see which updates are available and choose if you’d like to install them or not.

Sometimes, when you shut down your computer, updates to the Windows operating system will automatically be installed. However, you shouldn’t turn off or unplug your computer while the updates are being installed.

In addition to Windows Updates, you should also check that all of your programs are up to date, as well. Some programs will alert you that there is a new update available by putting an icon in the System Tray, similar to how Windows Update does.

If you are unsure of which programs you should update, you may be able to find out by going to the program’s website or by periodically checking the System Tray to see if any icons have appeared, alerting you that there is a new update available for that program. Some examples of programs that offer updates include Mozilla FireFox and Adobe Reader.

By frequently installing new updates to both Windows and any programs that you have installed on your computer, your computer will be less susceptible to computer viruses, as well as other malicious files or programs, as well as be up to date with the latest patches and software.

If you would like to learn more about Windows Update, you can do so from this page of the Microsoft website.

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Mapquest 4 Mobile

If you are someone who travels a lot and would not only like an application that will help you get to your destination, but also find out which businesses are in the area, as well as other great features, perhaps you should try using Mapquest 4 Mobile.

Mapquest 4 Mobile is similar to the Apple Maps application that comes installed on the iPhone. However, Mapquest 4 Mobile has more feature than the iPhone’s map application, including voice guided directions, so that you don’t have to look at your iPhone to see when to turn and such when you’re driving.

Also, Mapquest 4 Mobile features the ability to see where a variety of different businesses and destinations, and other things are, such as how traffic is, as well as where restaurants, hotels, stores, gas stations, coffee shops, post offices, and more are located. If you would like to find out where a destination is, you can do so by simply tapping on one of the variety of icons, located under the Mapquest 4 Mobile map, that is related to the business you would like to locate.

Once you’ve tapped on a destination or business, you should see little icons on the map, where the destination or business that you selected are.

Mapquest 4 Mobile also features voice guided directions, which is a great feature if you’re driving and don’t want to look over at your iPhone to see where to turn or go next.

Another feature of Mapquest 4 Mobile is the ability to save locations in the “My Places” tab of the application. When you select a saved location, you will be able to see where it is located on the map. You can also choose to get directions to or from a saved location, as well as e-mail the location to someone.

The Mapquest 4 Mobile application also features three different energy saving settings, which include “Low Savings”, which means that your iPhone screen will remain on, unless you shut if off, “Medium Savings”, which means that your iPhone will auto-lock, but you will still receive guidance notifications, and “High Savings”, which means that your iPhone will auto-lock in order to save power.

If you would like to try using Mapquest 4 Mobile, you can download it from the iTunes App Store for free.

Google Images Redesign

If you’d made a search using Google Images recently, you have probably noticed that the image results pages look a little different than they used to. This is because Google has recently redesigned Google Images.

The new, redesigned version of Google Images includes new features, such as a new tiled design, which is designed to make it easier to look at a variety of different images at the same time.

Another new feature included in the redesign of Google Images is “Instant Scrolling” between pages of images, which allows you to view up to 1,000 images at once, rather than having to click on the “Next” button in order to view more images. Also, Google Images also features larger thumbnail previews on their results page.

When you hover over an image, a hover pane will now appear, allowing you to view a larger version of the image, as well as provide you with more information about it, as well as other features, including a “Similar Images” button.

Also, if you click on an image, you will be taken to a new landing page, which displays a large version of the image in context. The website that the image is hosted on will also appear behind the landing page. If you click outside of the landing page, you will be taken to the original page that the image was on.

Google Images now enables you to use your keyboard to scroll through the pages of images faster, using keyboard buttons, such as the “Page Up” and “Page Down” buttons.

For more information about the new, redesigned version of Google Images, you should read this post, on the Official Google Blog.

PhotoShop.com Mobile

If you’re someone who likes to edit photos and would like to be able to do it on the go, perhaps you should try using the PhotoShop.com Mobile application for the iPhone.

When you first launch the application, you will be able to either select a photo from your iPhone’s camera roll or take a new photo. Once you’ve selected or have taken a photo that you would like to edit, you will then be taken to the PS Mobile editing interface, where you are able to choose from a variety of different tools and effects to edit your photo. Some examples of what you can do to edit your photo include cropping, straightening, rotating, and flipping the photo.

You can also adjust your photo’s exposure, saturation, tint, contrast, as well as make the photo into a black and white image. Also, you can use the sketch tool, which enables you to make your photo look as though it was drawn. Another feature is the ability to adjust the soft focus of the photo, as well as the ability to “sharpen” a photo.

The PhotoShop.com Mobile application also allows you to apply a variety of different effects to your photo, such as the vibrant, pop, vignette blur, warm vintage, rainbow, white glow, and soft black and white effects. Also, the PS Mobile application allows you to choose from a variety of different boarders that you can add to your images.

Once you’ve finished editing your photo, you can either save it to your camera roll and then exit the editing interface, or you can save the photo and upload it to your PhotoShop.com Mobile account. You can also save the photo to your iPhone’s camera roll and then upload it to either FaceBook or TwitPic.

If you’d like to try using the PhotoShop.com Mobile application, you can download it from the iTunes App Store for free.

Conserving iPhone Battery Life

Below are some tips and tricks that you may want to try if you’d like to extend your iPhone’s battery life.

Disable Wi-Fi

If you’re not going to be using a Wi-Fi connection, you should disable it on your iPhone so that your iPhone’s battery doesn’t drain when you’re either connected to a wireless access point or when your iPhone’s searching for new wireless access points.

If you’d like to disable your iPhone’s Wi-Fi connection, you can do so by going to the Settings menu and then to the “Wi-Fi” section, where you should be able to disable your Wi-Fi connection.

Lower the Brightness of the Screen

The brighter your iPhone’s screen is, the more your battery will be drained. If you would like to prolong your battery life by turning down the brightness of your iPhone’s screen, you can do so by going to the Settings menu and then to the “Brightness” section, where you should be able to select a brightness that you like.

Disable your iPhone’s 3G Connection

If you’re using your iPhone’s 3G connection, it will drain your battery faster than if you disabled it. Even if you disable your iPhone’s 3G connection, you will still be able to access the Internet, as well as fetch new data, but you will be using EVDO, rather than 3G, which may be slower, but you will still end up saving battery life.

If you would like to disable your iPhone’s 3G connection, you can do so by going to the Settings menu and then to the “General” section. From there, you should then go to the “Network” section, where you should be able to enable or disable your iPhone’s 3G connection.

Disable Bluetooth

Using Bluetooth will also drain your iPhone’s battery faster than if you weren’t using it. If you would like to disable Bluetooh, you can do so by going to the Settings menu and then to the “General” section. From there, you should go to the “Bluetooth” section, where you should be able to either enable or disable Bluetooth.

Disable Push Notifications

Even though Push notifications can be useful for knowing that you’ve received a new e-mail or tweet, they can also hinder your iPhone’s battery life.

If you would like to disable Push Notifications, you can do so by going to the Settings menu and then to the “Notifications” section, where you should be able to choose which applications are able to send you Push Notifications, as well as if you’d like to enable or disable Push Notifications all together.

If you are someone who would rather still use all of the above features on your iPhone, perhaps you should consider purchasing a portable charger, such as the Kensington Battery Pack and Charger, which is available from the Apple Online Store or the Monster Charging Case for iPhone, which is available from the Monster Cable website.

For more ways on how to conserve the battery life of your iPhone, I would suggest that you view this article, from iSmashphone.com.

LastPass

Remembering passwords for all of the websites that you regularly visit can sometimes be difficult. However, a program called LastPass may be able to put an end to the frustration of having to remember a variety of different passwords for different websites.

LastPass is a free program that enables you to have one master password that you can use to have access to all of the password that you would like to remember.

When you first download and install LastPass, you will be prompted to select a language, as well as create an account with LastPass. The password that you use while creating your LastPass account is also your master password, which you can use to access your passwords to various websites.

After you’ve created an account, you should be taken to your LastPass Vault, where you can view and manage all of your passwords.

Also, you should see a LastPass button, located near the top right of your browser, next to the search bar. If you click on the button, you will be able to go to your LastPass Vault, view websites that you have recently logged into, as well as other things.

When you visit a website and enter in your username and password, you should be asked if you would like to have LastPass remember your password for the website. If you choose to have your login credentials remembered, the next time you visit the website, you will not have to enter your username and password, as they will already be entered in for you.

There is also a paid edition of LastPass, called LastPass Premium, which has additional features, such as the ability to use LastPass for your iPhone, Blackberry, Windows Mobile, Symbian OS, Android, as well as Palm WebOS. LastPass Premium also has a variety of other features, which you can learn about from the LastPass website.

If you would like to learn more or try using LastPass, you can download LastPass for free from LastPass.com.

Flip Camera

If you’re someone who likes to capture events on camera, but don’t want to have to carry around a bulky video camera, perhaps you should try using the Flip Camera.

There are currently three different models of Flip Cameras, the Flip Slide HD, the Flip Mino HD, and the Flip Ultra, which is also available in an HD model.

Flip Slide HD

The Flip Slide HD camcorder is Flip’s newest camcorder, with the ability to shoot up to four hours of HD footage using H.264 compression at 30 frames per second, at a resolution at 1280 x 720, which gets stored in the camera’s internal 16 GB memory. The Flip Slide is also the first Flip Slide is also the first Flip Camera to feature a 3-inch, sliding touch-screen that enables you to view up to twelve hours of video and photos.  The Flip Slide HD comes in white, but is able to be customized from a variety of designs, which you can choose from on the Flip website. The MSRP for the Flip Slide HD is $279.99.

Flip Mino HD

The Flip Mino HD is another camera available from Flip, with the ability to record up to two hours of video on the camera’s internal 8 GB memory. There is also a 4 GB model, which enables you to record up to one hour of video. The Flip Mino HD has records video using H.264 compression at 30 frames per second at a resolution of 1280 x 720. The 8 GB model comes in a “brushed metal” color and the 4 GB model comes in both black and “brushed metal”. Both models, however, are able to be customized with a variety of designs. The MSRP for the Flip Mino HD is $199.99 for the 4 GB version and $229.99 for the 8 GB version.

Flip Ultra HD

The Flip Ultra HD camcorder has a built in 8 GB of memory and can record up to two hours of HD video with H.264 compression at 30 frames per second, with a resolution of 1280 x 720. The Flip Ultra HD camcorder comes in both black and white. However, it isn’t customizable, like many of the other Flip Cameras. The MSRP for the Flip Ultra HD camera is $199.99.

Flip Ultra

The Flip Ultra camcorder is able to record up to two hours of video on a built in 4 GB memory at a 640 x 480 resolution at 30 frames per second and uses H.264 compression. The Flip Ultra camcorder isn’t customizable, but is available in four different colors, including black, white, orange, and pink. The MSRP for the Flip Mino camera is $149.99.

A side by side comparison on all of the Flip Cameras listed above is available on the Flip website. Also, all of the Flip Camera models come with software that allows you to upload and edit videos on your computer. There are also many accessories that you can purchase from the accessories page on Flip Camera website.

If you would like to learn more about or purchase a Flip Camera, you can do so from the Flip Camera website.